Lalmatia (Jharkhand): At least 9 workers are confirmed dead and over 40 of them trapped along with some machineries belonging to a private coal mining company Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) after a heap of mud caved-in at the entry point of Latmatia mines in Godda district of Jharkhand, a CISF official said on Friday.
According to initial reports, the on duty CISF sentry is safe but at the time of the cave-in at the Rajmahal Open Cast Mines of Paharia Bhorya site, more than 40 vehicles were inside.
The locals said that there was crack in the heap of mud which collapsed and blocked the entry point of the mine.
Mining operations were taking place about 200 feet beneath the ground.
A separate team of NDRF personnels have been dispatched from Patna along with additional manpower comprising of one government official, 2 inspectors, 21 CISF from Eastern Coal Field Limited, Sheetalpur, news agency ANI said.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team has reached the spot, officials said.
"The exact number of people and vehicle trapped inside is not known," said Harilal Chauhan, Godda Superintendent of Police told IANS.
On Thursday, 4 workers suffered injuries, two of them seriously, when the roof of a mine partially collapsed at Putki Balihari area in Dhanbad district.
The mine falls under Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL), a subsidiary of Coal India Limited.
A senior district official said the four contractual workers were taking cable to a shaft of the hydro mines in lift when a part of the roof suddenly caved in trapping them.
The four were rescued and taken to a hospital where the condition of two of them was stated to be serious, the official said.
The two seriously injured were now under treatment at Central Hospital, Dhanbad while the other two were being treated at a local hospital in the neighbourhood of the mines and were out of danger, the official added.
The cause of the collapse was being looked into, the official said.
Earlier, rescue operation at Godda district could not start immediately due to the night fog, a police official said.
Reacting to news, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he was saddened by the loss of lives and was in touch with the chief minister of Jharkhand Raghubar Das regarding the situation.
Saddened by the loss of lives at a mine in Jharkhand. My prayers are with those trapped inside. Spoke to CM Raghubar Das on the situation.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 30, 2016
Earlier, Das said he was monitoring the situation closely and has asked concerned officials to intensify rescue operations.
Taking stock of the situation, Union Power and coal minister Piyush Goyal said that rescue efforts underway and an enquiry has been initiated.
However, Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Chairman cum Managing Director of ECL & WCL told ANI that the rescue operations started on Thursday and is in full swing.
RAJMAHAL ACCIDENT : Doctors, Ambulance and all medical support deployed since last evening— Eastern Coalfields (@easterncoal) December 30, 2016
"The power cut was restored within 3 hours," Mishra added.
Mishra also claimed that 3 excavators and 7 dumpers have been identified at the mining site where incident took place and 2 dumpers managed to flee the spot when the land subsided.
(With inputs from IANS)